A rainy autumn day in Cambridge

Turns out Cambridge is pretty, even in the rain! Did you know that?

Last Saturday was gloomy, cold and frankly quite depressing-looking but one of my really good friends was staying over for the weekend and was really keen to discover this city. At first we weren’t quite sure whether this was worth a day-trip considering the weather but I’m so glad we took a chance because there is plenty to do, even in the rain. The city looked as beautiful and grand as always. If anything, the grey weather made it look even more dramatic and interesting. We had fun wandering around, strolling through the cobbled-stoned alleyways, getting lost in the Fitzwilliam museum and we also had coffee at Fitzbillies, which you absolutely must stop by if you’re in town. 

So if one day you’re wondering whether you should go on that day trip because the weather isn’t great, the answer is… YES!

And here are 5 things you should do while you’re there:

1. Spend a couple of hours at the Fizwilliam museum. Even if you’re not into art, the building itself is stunning and worth checking out.

2. Pop by Fitzbillies for a light lunch, coffee or afternoon tea. It’s a Cambridge institution! It looks quite small from the outside but they have lots of space at the back with tables. Did I mention the window is packed with treats from chelsea buns to macarons? This will make you hungry.

3. Visit the main colleges. My favourite is St John’s but you should definitely do a tour of Trinity and King’s College too. It made me want to go back to class and change entirely careers and do something science-related just so I can study there. Sadly for me, I was absolutely useless at Sciences when I was in school so that’s probably never going to happen. 

4. Stroll through the Backs. This is the area by the river cam just behind the main colleges. It’s probably at its best during Spring time but well worth a look at during Autumn time with the leaves are changing colours and all the tourists and students are punting on the river. It’s a lovely walk to take.

5. Don’t miss out on a little bit of shopping. You’ll want to head to Trinity street, King’s Parade and take the smaller streets like Rose Crescent and Green street, where you’ll find smaller independent shops. This would be a great place to go to and do some Christmas shopping. (hint hint)

Christmas Gifts For Him

It’s this time of the year again! Christmas will be here in no time and I’m excited. So excited that I’ve already started researching ideas for gifts. Of course it would be a shame not to share with you all my finds so far. So here we go, we're starting off this week with some ideas for the men in our lives, which always seem to be the hardest ones to buy for! 

Champagne + Fromage in Covent Garden

I need to tell you about that time I spent a decadent afternoon sipping champaign and tasting various cheeses at a quaint little French bistro in Covent Garden. It was as parfait as it sounds. A lovely treat after a lazy Sunday shopping and Christmas gift-spotting around London (I know, I’m an early bird this year). 

The bistro is called Champagne + Fromage and, well I think you can guess what they specialise in; they stock 25 award-winning French champagnes as well as over 30 different types of cheeses, all from my home country. The bistro itself is very pretty and cosy with wooden floors, rustic-style tables, a big blackboard and a big cheese fridge. Clearly, this is a place after my own heart.

Upon arrival, Rich and I were greeted with a list of their champagnes as well as a menu. They have 5 cheese boards, which is what we had come for, as we wanted to try a few different cheeses. You can also order some of the famous French classics like a baked camembert, snails de Bourgogne or an onion soup for example. 

The cheese boards on the menu are based on types of cheeses: pasteurised, strong, cow, ewe and goat. But you also have the option to pop by their cheese fridge to pick what you’d like to try. That’s the option we went for, as I already knew some of the cheeses on the other boards. We explained to the staff the kind of cheeses that we liked and they then advised us on which ones to try. 

We picked the Bleu de chèvre, which was served with cherries (such a good combo - can't wait to try it again for one of my Apero Fridays), the Gros Sainte-Maure (pretty sure they sprinkled lavender flowers on top, although you couldn’t really taste it) and the Olivet cendré,  which came with some sort of jelly jam cubes. All were really tasty but my favourite one was the blue cheese. That’s no surprise really, as I’ve never met a blue cheese I didn’t like. 

To accompany our cheeses, we had bread (of course) and a bottle of the house champagne, which did not disappoint. I can be a little difficult when it comes to champagne but this one went down really well.

All in all, we had a lovely time and I really can’t recommend this place enough. In fact, the first thing I told Rich after we left was: we’ll have to come back. Seal of approval from a Frenchi! This has got to count for something, right?

TIP: If you just want a cheese board and a bottle of champagne, book through the website Lime & Tonic. It’s a new concept site that sells “experiences”. The offer available costs £25 per person and includes a cheese board of your choice as well as a bottle of the house champagne. This is a really good deal, as a glass of the house champagne costs £10 and you easily get 2 or 3 glasses each (if you’re just 2 people). 

À bientôt my friends!

Champagne + Fromage. 22 Wellington Street. Covent Garden. London. WC2E 7DD

Out and about in Lisbon

This is a little bit of a mishmash post but I really wanted to post some more snaps of our time in Lisbon. Yup, that’s how much I liked it! This will be the last post about this trip though. I’m starting to get into a winter mood now and I’m planning lots of cosy kind of posts. Watch this space…

Anyway, apologies for the photo overload. I tend not to censor myself too much, as I love looking back at the blog at the end of the year and everything Rich and I have done throughout the year. Also, it’s saved me a few times when I’ve had issues with photos in the past. At least, my favourite ones are all stored somewhere online. 

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!